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Laramie Movie Scope:
Boyz in the Hood

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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September 4, 1991 -- "Boyz in the Hood" generated a lot of negative publicity when it opened in July when violence broke out in and near theaters, despite the plea in the title, ``Increase the Peace.''

The film contains violent scenes but its central message is one of love and peace as we follow several young boys trying to survive and succeed in south central Los Angeles. It extols the virtues of hard work, study and nurturing. First-time director/writer, John Singleton, 23, uses stunning imagery and he gets good performances from the actors. He also uses music effectively in the film.

Particularly good are Cuba Gooding Jr., who plays the central character and Laurence Fishburn, who plays his father. All of the main characters in the film, including Morris Chestnut and rap star Ice Cube, who plays his brother, two of the boys in the 'hood, are people we learn to care about in the film.

However, the strong story line and the anti-drug, anti-violent messages in the film all lack the subtlety we see in the film's visual images. If Singleton can polish up his films he should be able to become a major force in Hollywood. Even as it stands this is a better film than ``New Jack City,'' for instance.

The film is ``R'' rated for violence, nudity and profanity. This film rates a C+.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)